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12-12-12-methodist-logo.gifThe Methodist University Journey has been underway for a full semester and our Monarchs have been busy on the four Journey pathways, Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Global Education and Undergraduate Research and Creativity.

It seems like there is something happening every day that relates to the MU Journey. This morning, a Community Engagement project was completed at Operation Inasmuch, when students from the MU chapter of the American Marketing Association and the Resort Management Club, along with Sodexo, provided and served breakfast at the shelter. This is third time that students have managed this Community Engagement project.

Leadership Development

In September, the Leadership Program partnered with Fayetteville’s Lafayette Society to host a distinguished visitor, Professor Marc Leepson, to speak on the leadership qualities of General Lafayette to commemorate the general’s birthday.

In November, the Lura S. Tally Center for Leadership Development sponsored the first speaker in the new Expert in Residence Lecture series. Major General Rodney O. Anderson (Ret.) spent the day on campus and spoke about leadership to several gatherings of students and community members. Also in November, students in the “Empower” residence halls participated in a series of discussions about leadership as displayed in three feature films, accompanied by lots of snacks, of course. This coming semester, freshmen and sophomores who are interested in being considered as Leadership Fellows will be submitting applications to be Leadership Fellows candidates.

Community Engagement

The Pine Forest High School (PFHS) Mentoring Project brought 150 PFHS upperclassmen to campus Nov. 30 as part of the year-long program, which has brought together 25 MU students to mentor these PFHS mentors who are in turn mentoring ninth-grade students at the high school. The students participated in a moderated panel discussion with MU students and had lunch on campus.

Other ongoing or completed student projects from the Center for Community Engagement include Stop Hunger Now, assisting the Bicycle Man program, a regional salary-comparison survey project, a logo-design project for Fayetteville Urban Ministries, a rebranding project for the Fayetteville Regional Chamber and the Peace One Day Project with the Rotary Club. Students also recently completed a voter-registration project, where 45 students devoted 84 hours of work for the registration drive.

Global Education

Over winter break, nine students will travel with campus ministry on a mission trip to Haiti, where they will visit the St. Joseph Home for Boys and work with orphans and on construction projects. The week-long service project is one of several short Study and Service Abroad trips planned for MU students. The spring semester is Study Abroad’s busy season, as students will take advantage of spring-break trips to Guatemala and an international tourism class’ cruise that will visit Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. In the late spring, Study Abroad trips are being planned for England, Scotland and possibly Sweden and Spain.

Undergraduate Research and Creativity

I traveled to Duke University recently to support presentations by 22 MU students at the 8th Annual State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium Nov. 17. The students represented the university very well, and we had one of the largest groups participating in the event. Methodist University will hold its Second Annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium April 17, and I am looking forward to seeing many of the unique and interesting projects that our students will present. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity is also in the process of developing a fellows program, which students will be able to apply for.

In closing, I would like to congratulate each student who will graduate this Saturday, Dec. 15. I send you and your families my best wishes, and hope you will stay in touch with your classmates, friends, and faculty members as you embark on new adventures. Indeed, every Monarch has a journey, and I can’t wait to see where the MU Journey will take us in 2013.

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